If you have just started to play 8-ball pool, the first thing you need to learn is how to rack a 8-ball pool game. A lot of people do not know how 8-ball pool balls are set up, or some know the sequence but do it the wrong way.
By the end of this article, you’ll be well-versed with the art of racking an 8-ball pool and ready to start racking and playing on your pool table.
But before we begin racking, it’s essential to learn how many balls are there in an 8-ball pool so you have no ambiguity regarding their positions when you are racking.
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As per the standard rules, there are 16 balls used in an 8-ball pool game.
Fifteen of these balls are numbered balls, from 1-15, while the cue ball is used to hit these. Balls with number 1-7 are known as solid while the balls between 9-15 are called stripes. The black ball is always numbered as the 8th ball.
Now when you know how many balls are in an 8-ball pool, you can easily rack them up. And for that, you’ll need a triangular shape object called rack. All the balls go in between the rack, except for the cue ball.
The picture above shows how an organized rack on an 8-ball pool table looks like. As it goes without saying, the balls are placed in a triangular manner, because of the shape of the rack.
There are five rows, the fifth one has five balls, fourth one has four balls, third one has three, and the series goes on. Apart from that, balls are placed in the following pattern:
I know, it sounds easy. But when you actually put the balls on the table and rack in the middle, you struggle to professionally rack your pool. Some players struggle to put balls in the rack while some have no idea where to begin.
Don’t need to fret about it. I’m going to show you how you can do it in a neat manner. Just follow the below mentioned steps and get the job done!
It’s not just about placing balls, but placing the rack at the right position is often a confusing thing for many. So let’s do that first.
To determine where you are supposed to keep the triangular rack, you need to locate the black and white dot that is usually found at the end of the table. In pocket billiard tables, there is a foot spot marked in the center of one end of the table where you can find this spot.
Just in case you don’t have this mark on your table, you can make a mark yourself.
This spot is marked on the center line of the table if you stand at the short end. It’s aligned with the second mark on the edge of the table between the corner and side pockets.
More often than not, you’ll have this spot visible right in front of your eyes.
The next step is to place the rack with the top point over the foot spot in such a way that the black and white dot is touching the top interior of the triangle. This spot is also called apex. See the figure below:
The ball that you place in the apex, i.e. in the first row, its center should be right at the top of this dot.
In the meantime, you should make sure that the bottom of the triangle is straight. It shouldn’t be bent from one end towards another. Also, the distance between the table ends and the rack should be equal from both sides.
Once you have picked any ball at random, place it in the middle of the dot, your next move is to put two balls first in the other corners of the rack.
As there are opposite balls in corners, put one stripe at one corner and solid at the other.
Then, you put the remaining balls in between the corner balls in the last row. The same pattern follows as you move at the top.
Except for the first and second row, where there is either only one ball in the apex, and two balls (stripe and solid) in the second.
Then, in the third row, you’ll have some space left for one ball.
The remaining space in the third row is for the black ball, or 8-ball. It always goes in the center.
That’s why when you have to put the balls in any part of the rack at random, you are not allowed to select the 8-ball.
The 8-ball pool diagram above shows how your rack will look like after all the balls have been filled in it.
Nope, not yet. There is a small check to ensure that all balls are tightly packed before you remove the rack and begin the play.
Once all balls have placed in their respective positions, put the rack gently backward and forward. This will give you an idea if all balls are tightly packed or if there is any space between them.
If there would be any, the balls would collide with each other when you are pushing the rack. If not, then you are good to go.
After this test, you can take off the rack and begin the play!
What is the proper way to rack pool balls?
First, put the rack over the dot marked on your table. And then, fill in the balls as per the rules.
Does the eight ball go on the dot?
No, the eight-ball never goes on the dot. It’s always in the center of the rack.
What ball goes on the spot in Pool?
Any ball, except for the black ball. However, most of the players prefer to keep the number “1” ball at the spot.
Placing so many balls in a single rack can be confusing. Especially when you don’t know how to rack a pool triangle. From placing the rack at the right place to filling in the balls in it in the right sequence, it can easily make you confused. With the above mentioned rules and the step by step guide for this purpose, hopefully this process will be a lot smoother and clear for you now.